Readers' Favorite

November 30, 2013

Plan Your Own Tour for Just 99 Cents

Get everything you need to organize your own blog tour! Just 99 cents!

I share tips and tricks learned through organizing over 30 tours, blasts, and promotional events for nearly 50 independently and traditionally published titles, including Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker

Planning stage decisions
Different types of tours
Recruiting bloggers and keeping requests organized
Best practice communication tips 
Tricks to making a great guest appearance
How to organize a fun (and legal) giveaway
Actions to take during the tour
Next steps once the tour is complete
Virtual tour and other promotional opportunities
When to hire a professional

But I don't stop there. I spill even more of my blog tour secrets to help you get the most out of your events!

Tour checklist
Tour invite tips
Step-by-step guide to creating tour graphics
10 broad guest post topics
25 sample interview questions

Buy Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour at Amazon 

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made through the links above.
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November 29, 2013

Holiday Buying Guide 2013

I use Grammarly for free proofreading because some days there seems to be a disconnect between my eyes and my brain. [paid ad]

Book lovers can be so difficult to buy for because they are always snatching up their favorites before you can give them as a gift. Below are some of my favorite reads for this year and as I often read off the beaten path you may just be able to surprise the book lover on your list with a new author. Be sure to also check out my past buying guides from 2011 and 2012.

For the younger reader:

Buy The Scroll at Amazon

This series has appeared each year on my buying guide. If you have a reluctant reader I would say this series may just make a reader out of them. It did for my niece. The Scroll (my review) is book 5 in The Gateway Chronicles. In case you haven't started this series, K. B. Hoyle is offering a lucky reader ebook copies of Book 1 (The Six) and Book 2 (The Oracle).

Buy Pie and Other Brilliant Ideas at Amazon

Got a little dancer on your list? I recommend Pie and Other Brilliant Ideas from award winning author Karen Pokras Toz. Read my review. You may know her from her Nate Rocks series and if not, you can pick up the ebook of Nate Rocks the School for FREE this weekend. Also Karen is offering a lucky reader an ebook of Millicent Marie Is Not My Name.

Buy Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy at Amazon

Often it is difficult to get boys to read, but I have read a couple of series that I think boys would like. My nephew is quite partial to the Huber Hill series (Can you keep a secret? My nephew is getting Huber Hill and the Golden Staff of Cibola for Christmas). Last year, Jack Templar Monster Hunter barely missed making the guide. Book 3 in the series is also available. Read an excerpt.

For Young Adults/New Adults:

Buy Wildflowers at Amazon

I loved Plain Jane by Schledia Benefield (read my review) and Wildflowers was another great read. While not necessarily a happy read, it is full of emotion and the message of hope. Schledia is offering a lucky winner a signed paperback (US only - ebook if winner is international).

Buy The Journey at Amazon

John Heldt's Northwest Passage series are probably as close to "feel good" stories that I read. As you know, I refer the darker side of life in my books. But I really enjoy John's writing. Read my review.

Buy White Chalk at Amazon

Did I mention I like books that deal with the darker side of life? White Chalk isn't for the faint of heart. It is an emotional, raw look into a very real issue plaguing our younger generation. If there is a troubled teen on your list, you may want to consider this book. But please note, that the content may be better suited for more mature young adults and new adult readers. Read my review. Pavarti is offering a signed paperback to a lucky reader (US only, if winner is international it will be an ebook).

For Adults:

Buy The Hitwoman and the Neurotic Witness at Amazon

JB Lynn is another regular on the Holiday Buying Guide. I LOVE her Hitwoman series. I'm also looking forward to her newest book that just out Nearly Departed. The Hitwoman series is perfect for those who love to laugh while reading. If there's a person on your list who enjoyes Lisa Lutz's Spellman series or Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, then The Hitwoman and the Neurotic Witness would be the perfect gift. Read my review. You can pick up the FREE novella The Hitwoman Gets Lucky at Amazon, plus JB is giving one lucky reader ebook copies of The Hitwoman Gets Lucky AND The Hitwoman and the Neurotic Witness.

Buy Lifeboat at Amazon

A Sci-Fi fan on your list? New author A. B. Shepherd's Lifeboat is a must read. It is a quick paced story that throws a curve ball at the end - you won't guess how the story ends. Read my review. A. B. Shepherd is offering an ebook set of Lifeboat AND her soon to be released novella The Beacon.

Buy The Shanghai Factor at Amazon

I love a good spy novel and The Shanghai Factor is an intriguing read. I don't often like espoinage novels set outside the Cold War era, but Charles McCarry brought all the elements I enjoyed during that time and modernized it. Read my review.

Buy Cupid on Deck at Amazon

I know this is a Valentine's Day story, but the Christmas season always makes be want to read chick-lit and Cupid on Deck was such a cute story. Read my review.

I hope I have helped you find gifts for at least a few people on your list. Each of the giveaways above is for the individual gift being offered, enter as many or as few as you like - all are open internationally. And I have one more giveaway for you to enter. My friend Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is offering an ebook - winner's choice- from her extensive published work.

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate;  a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above link.  

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November 28, 2013

Master Koda Black Friday/Cyber Monday Bash

Don't want to brave the crowds and cold this weekend to start your holiday shopping, but still want to get great deals on ebooks (for friends and family, of course)? Then stop by the Master Koda Bash. 35 authors are offering their ebooks for just 99 cents each. Take a look at the list.

Discounted ebooks isn't all being offered during this 4 day online party. There will be games and prizes throughout the day each day (Friday through Monday) on the Facebook event page. You could even win a Kindle Fire HD (don't worry, I won't tell anyone if you keep it for yourself!).

Want to chat with some of the authors? Throughout the event authors will be stopping by the Facebook event page to host games, give out prizes, and chat with you. Here's the schedule:

FRIDAY 11/29/13:
10am-noon: Adam Gaffen and Laurie E. Boris
noon-2pm: Linda Bolton and Kim Kim Mutch Emerson
2pm-4pm: Brenda Perlin, Jane Carroll and G Mitchell Baker
4pm-6pm: Tammy Novak and Jerrid Edgington
6pm-8pm: Jacqueline Cross and Lisa Day

SATURDAY 11/30/13
11am-1pm: Sherrill Willis and Sarah L. Wallace
1pm- 3pm: Tamy Burns and Stephanie Brown Myers
3pm-5pm: Douglas Davis and Tellulah Darling
5pm - 7pm: Allison M. Cosgrove and Laci Paige

MONDAY 12/2/13:
8am-10am: Barbara Robinson and Martin Crosbie
10am-noon: Greta Burroughs and Vickie Johnstone
noon-2pm: Jennifer Loiske and Doug Simpson
2pm-4pm: Kim Emerson and Arlene R. O'Neil
4pm-6pm: Lynne Cantwell and Kimberly R Hughes
6pm-8pm: J Kelly Accinni and DeEtte Beckstead

Also, be sure to enter the Big Giveaway starting on Friday

Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers! 

November 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday Double Header

I can't choose between these two upcoming releases. I'm super excited about both of them. The are part of series and that I've waited quite a while for this installment. One choice may be shocking to my readers since it is a romance. It's not even just slightly a romance it is romance through and through.

WOW #1

Gabriel's Inferno

Professor Gabriel Emerson has left his position at the University of Toronto to embark on a new life with his beloved Julianne. Together, he’s confident that they can face any challenge. And he’s eager to become a father.

But Julianne’s graduate program threatens Gabriel’s plans, as the pressures of being a student become all consuming. When she is given the honor of presenting an academic lecture at Oxford, Gabriel is forced to confront her about the subject of her presentation – research that conflicts with his own. And in Oxford, several individuals from their past appear, including an old nemesis intent on humiliating Julia and exposing one of Gabriel’s darkest secrets.

In an effort to confront his remaining demons, Gabriel begins a quest to discover more about his biological parents, beginning a chain of events that has startling repercussions for himself, Julianne, and his hope of having a family.

Available December 3, 2013
Pre-order at Amazon

Read my reviews of Gabriel's Inferno and Gabriel's Rapture

WOW #2

Coiled Snake

Kit’s journey continues in the second book of The Windstorm Series.

Kit has escaped her death sentence with the Yakone, only to be captured by the barbaric Rangi. Now a prisoner of war, her only means of survival will pit her against everyone and everything she holds dear—including herself.

Now available in paperback
Buy at Amazon

Read my review of Downburst

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate;  a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above link.  Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are excited about.

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November 26, 2013

Review: The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Signature of All Things
I wasn't sure what I was really getting when I decided to review The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. I hadn't read Eat, Pray, Love, but I had heard good things. The science nerd in me was really intrigued about the natural history and botanical references - I took the history of biology as an elective in college and a year of botany courses. I wondered at one point if I had been born at an earlier time, if I would have been a naturalist.

I love reading literary fiction, but I hate reviewing it. I never feel that I can adequately capture the beauty of the book. My vocabulary was definitely expanded by reading The Signature of All Things. As I don't often read stories set during the Victorian era, some of the slang used was new to me. I was a bit shocked with Alma's extracurricular activities in the binding closet. Not because I don't think women of the 1800s didn't engage in such activity, but that it didn't fit the story very well. There were 3 instances that made sense, and while other mentions were brief it still felt a little off given the rest of the story.  (Or perhaps it was the level of detail that was off).

Speaking of detail, at times I felt that too much detail was given. I was enthralled with the story and glimpse into history, but at the same time I felt like it was taking forever to get through the story. Have you ever felt like you had read more than you really did? It would feel like I had read a good chunk only to find out that I had only moved 5% ahead. Towards the end, I felt that it was becoming too long-winded and I really hoped the story was wrapping up. I mean it covers nearly a century, and a time of rapid of change, so there is a lot of ground being covered.

I rarely speak of formatting issues, particularly for ARCs. However, this one problem really bugged me. The parts were divided with a beautiful botanical drawing or at least I assume they would be beautiful in the print version. In my e-galley on my classic Nook they were in black and white, but that wasn't the problem. The issue was with how long it took for the page to load. I read mostly on my lunch break and it was was annoying to be reading a long and then having to pause for many seconds (it felt like a minute, but I doubt it really was).

Overall, I really enjoyed The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. I'm glad I read it as it re-awoken a passion that I had forgotten (in the natural world and science).

Buy The Signature of All Things at Amazon

Book Info:
Hardcover (512 pages)
Published October 2013 by Viking Adult
ISBN13:  9780670024858
Source: Netgalley
Read: November 2013

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate;  a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above link.  A free e-galley was provided by the source.

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November 25, 2013

Alison DeLuca: Using Tumblr, or: How to Become an Arctic Monkey

Tumblr Icon
Tumblr Icon (Photo credit: chadarizona)
For a long time I was conflicted about Tumblr. After setting up an account, I posted a few text posts and then let it lag. Facebook and Twitter were doing it all for me, and I saw no reason to use Tumblr. Besides, I just didn’t “get” it.

Recently I decided to give it another go, and I got sucked in. I’ve discovered what a clean, elegant site it is, and the design allows for a lot of fun. Do be warned that Tumblr is a serious time suck once you start following a decent amount of blogs, but it is also a great way to connect with people who are interested in the same things you are.

As an example, Alex Turner and The Arctic Monkeys market their music on Tumblr by putting up sound bites, pictures, and videos. You’ll probably run into them as you dig deeper into the site – it has certainly worked out for that band. They are doing it right.

Below I’m going to explain how to set up a Tumblr blog, what to do with it, after which I’ll issue some warnings and give a bit of advice to make your Tumblr experience smoother. But before I do all that – why use Tumblr at all? 

There are nine million accounts currently on the site, and more are opening up each day. The majority of the users are young, artistic readers, although there are exceptions, of course. If that profile fits the audience you’re looking for, I highly suggest setting up your own account.
And here are the steps to do that:
Buy The South Sea Bubble at Amazon
    The South Sea Bubble
  1. Go to to create an account with your email. This is a matter of entering an email address, choosing a password, and selecting a user name. Click Sign Up, give your age and agree to the user terms, and you’re in.
  2. This takes you straight to the Make a Blog page. Click on the avatar to add an image. Select a background by using the arrows, click on title to create your blog title, and give a description of your blog (also by clicking on the Description.)
  3. Next you go to a Follow blogs page. You’ll need to follow three to create your account. I suggest going to the top right Find and Follow Blogs space to type in your interests : movies, dance, cooking, music – whatever you want to reflect in your dashboard. (I’ll explain this later.) Once you click on the plus sign beside three blogs, you’re on to your next step.
  4. Next you can select your choice of Tumblr app for apple, windows, android – or skip this altogether.
  5. Finally they will ask you to verify your email. Do that and you have a blog! Your url is YOUR USER NAME, although you can customize it.
  6. Now start posting to get the hang of it. You can create text, photo, link, conversation, quotes, clips, and video posts – there is a menu at the top of your page. Click on one option – text, for example - and follow the easy instructions to post the blog of your choice.
  7. IF YOU POST AN IMAGE BE CERTAIN TO ATTRIBUTE IT TO THE PROPER SOURCE. I cannot stress enough how important this is. First it’s the right thing to do. Second, since Tumblr is an art-friendly community, the other users will be quick to pounce on anyone who takes uncredited images and throws them up on their blog or “dashboard.” This includes gifs and edited photos. You will get a reputation, as well as nasty anonymous mail in your inbox if you do not do this from the start. Of course this goes for text and video as well – anything, really. (If you want to create original images and are Photoshop illiterate like me, I suggest a cookie cutter image site like PicMonkey for creating your own edits and manips.)
  8. Once you have a few posts up and get the feel of creating Tumblr input, you can start to reblog. Remember how you searched your own interests and followed a few? On your dash, their posts should be coming up. Since you only followed three, you have a couple of posts to reblog. Do that by clicking the reblog button at the bottom of the post, never forgetting to attribute and tag the post. I tag mine as #reblog and with the source’s tumblr name. At the same time, you can continue to search your interests and follow more blogs – the more you follow, the more posts you will see on your dash. Plus, you’ll start to get followers.
  9. Now you can trick out your blog. Click on the gear wheel and go to the tab with your Tumblr blog name on it. There you can change your avatar, customize your URL, and pick a custom theme for your blog. There are many free themes you can choose. In other words, you do not have to pay for a theme any longer. Tumblr offers a lot of great freebies, although you can also find others online if you’re fairly tech-savvy. 
  10. Regarding comments: Tumblr is pretty comment free, unless you set up Disqus (VERY easy to do from the Disqus site.) You can allow replies on a text post if your title has a question mark at the end, or you can go to your inbox and start to send fanmail to the people you follow. Don’t be shy – Tumblr users love getting mail and reply willingly to friendly, fun messages. Occasionally you might run into a Cranky Pants – it happens to us all. Unfollow and walk quickly away.
  11. After a few days, you’ll start to see your blog posts reblogged if you have fun, clever, original content. Not so much if you’re spamming buy links 24/7, but I think that goes for any social site. Tumblr gives constant Activity feedback in your sidebar – just click on it to see who reblogged what. You’ll also see your followers start to mount up, although not nearly as quickly as on Twitter and Facebook. In a way it’s a good thing – those who follow you really are interested in what you post.
  12. Your main blog is the first one you create. You are allowed to create secondary blogs, but you can’t follow back or send Asks (a type of message) from those. Within any of your blogs you can create pages – an ongoing series of memes, quotes from your books or favorite movies – whatever you like. This is easily done by going to the actual blog url (not your dashboard) and click Customize at the top right. Scroll down on the menu that appears and click +Add a page; it will appear in your blog’s menu.
As long as you respect other users’ intellectual property, create your own fun content, and are friendly and open, you will find yourself with a good-sized list of followers. The number following back is exponential – it starts to increase at certain levels, especially if you are a constant poster. To that end, you can “queue” posts within the app by clicking the pulldown menu for a reblog or original post. You can also customize the number and timing of the queued posts from the gear at the top of your dashboard.

I’ve found Tumblr to be a great place to meet other writers and prospective readers, as well as a window into a young thought process. The users are energetic, intelligent, funny, and the experience is addictive. To that end, the creator of Tumblr has fixed a limit on the number of reblogs you are allowed; he says the reason for that is to force you to go outside every so often! And I must agree with him – it’s good advice.

~About the Author~

Alison DeLuca is the author of several steampunk and urban fantasy books.  She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain.
Currently she wrestles words and laundry in New Jersey.

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Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate;  a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above link. The views, opinions, and beliefs of contributing writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads. 

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